Middle Eastern Studies Courses
An Introduction to Modern Arab Society – ARBC 100
The course will include key forms of modern Arabic literary genres (i.e. poetry, novels, theatre, short stories), providing a glimpse at Arab society and culture. Readings include literary works written by prominent authors, dealing with dominant cultural topics such as nationalism, religion, gender and women issues, the role of the family and kinship, and social concepts and taboos. Selected texts help delineate the cultural uniqueness of the Arab world, and will include certain major works by authors such as prominent cultural critic and poet Adonis, and leading intellectuals George Tarabishi and Mohammed Abed Al Jabari. Representative samples of poetry and short stories will be covered from throughout the contemporary Arab world.
The course “Modern Arabic Poetry in Translation” offers a window into the richness and sophistication of modern Arabic poetry. It focuses on major themes in Arabic poetry, and will cover the most important poetic texts and works written by the leading Arab poets in contemporary times. It begins with providing a necessary overview of classical Arabic poetic traditions, including pre-Islamic poetry. The course also offers insights into critical aspects of modern Arab culture. It examines the influence of Western literature on modern Arabic poetry and discusses the significant role of modern Arab poets within Arab society. Modern Arabic Poetry in Translation will be taught in English.
The Arabic Novel in Translation – ARBC 115
This course will focus on a close reading in translation of a number of important twentieth-century Arabic novels. These texts have been chosen both for their exceptional literary merit and for the fact that their themes and forms reflect the distinctive features of Arab modernity. The seminar’s guiding principle is that literature includes politics, history, and culture, and not vice versa.
Readings in Modern Arabic Prose - ARBC 130
Advanced Arabic: Readings in Modern Arab Culture and Thought - ARBC 166
This is an advanced course which will be taught in Arabic, and all discussions and presentations will be conducted in Arabic, as well as all written work. The course will be organized in a seminar format, and will include readings in Arabic of some of the most important and influential Arab writers and intellectuals in the last hundred years. The selected works are a reflection of major trends and movements in Arab culture and thought, and will include excerpts from amongst the texts below. The reading list will change over time to keep current.
Trends and Movements in the Modern Middle East – ARBT 190
The Senior Seminar in Middle East Studies will serve as the capstone for the Middle East Studies major at CMC. All majors are required to take the semester-long seminar in their senior year. The course will provide the student with a comprehensive understanding of the most prominent trends and movements in the social, political, religious, and cultural arenas of the Middle East. The course is intended to provide the opportunity to focus more intensely on several major themes including: 1) the emergence of the Modern Middle East, 2) intellectual currents of the last century, and 3) Islamic political movements. The seminar will have a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing on concepts from political science, history, language, and literature.